Unemployment rate by educational attainment.

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Today, the Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate held steady at 9.7% during the month of February. For some perspective on the current state of the labor market, today’s chart illustrates the unemployment rate by educational attainment. As today’s chart illustrates, a higher educational attainment has correlated with a lower unemployment rate. For example, the unemployment rate for those that have not completed high school (red line) has increased from 5.8% to 15.6% over the past 40 months — nearly a 10 percentage point increase. Compare that to the unemployment rate for those that have obtained a bachelor’s degree or greater (blue line). The unemployment rate for those with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is currently three percentage points above where it was 40 months ago. In any event, the upward trend in the unemployment rate (for all education levels) has slowed in recent months.


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